GP opening hours scheme ‘to benefit seven million patients’

  • Posted

Posted 14/04/2014

Sophie Bales 1397332448_sophiebalesCPX.jpg

The BBC reported today that new opening hours for some GP surgeries in England will benefit more than seven million patients. The prime minister announced the £50m GP Access Fund in October and has confirmed that 1,147 surgeries will take part. The GP Access Fund is intended to make it possible for people to see their GP in evenings or weekends, or contact them remotely for convenience.

It is estimated that over seven million patients will be given weekend and evening opening hours, alongside more access to their family doctor on the phone, via email or even Skype.

Sophie Bales, a medical injury solicitor at Ashtons Legal comments:

“There has been a lot of criticism recently about the out of hours service and how confusing it is for patients. As a result, this has meant that many patients are attending their local A&E inappropriately, which is putting undue pressure on A&E resources.

It is good news that some patients will now have greater access to their GPs in the evenings and weekends. However, this does not apply to all patients and only affects patients whose GP surgeries have opted into the scheme, which is still restricted to a small percentage of the population.

This scheme should not be seen as a solution or substitute for a structured and comprehensive out of hours system which enables all patients to contact a GP when required.”


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